Published: July 17, 2007
With gross sales of $6.7 million, the 32nd Special Auction of Modern Art on April 26 provided a new high point in sales for Nagel. Items up for auction largely came from private consignments. Able to be offered at favorable estimates, they again drew a large number of bidders from all over the world.
The best example was the painting shown on the title page of the catalog, portraying a beach scene in Trouville. The small (67/8 by 13¾ inches) oil on wood, signed and dated 1880 by Eugène Boudin (1824‱898), came from a private Stuttgart collection and was knocked down to a private French room bidder following an intense round of bidding for $538,000. Foreign bids also pushed up Boudin’s depiction of sailboats in Deauville to $161,400.
The other Impressionists and representatives of the classic Modern period also did well. A rather unusual painting by Eduard Manet (1832‱883), a well-documented depiction of “Le Christ Jardinier,” was probably cut after the artist’s death and kept by a private German family for many years. It came to $131,800. Pierre Auguste Renoir’s (1841‱919) canvas of “Faiences décorées,” also a German consignment, fetched $125,000 and went abroad †as did the above-mentioned canvas. The drawing of a ballet dancer by Edgar Degas (1834‱917) brought $161,390.
A 1909‱0 watercolor by Emil Nolde (1867‱957) depicting houses on a lake was sold to a private German customer for $134,500. Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner’s (1880‱938) woodcut “Two Friends (Miller and Shearer)” from 1924 also stayed in Germany; it was knocked down for $80,700.
Sculptures also attracted enthusiastic interest. First, two bronze figures by Rembrandt Bugatti (1884‱916) were called. “Two Wild Boars” from 1905 (signed and numbered fifth edition) went for $71,280, and the small “Antelopes” from 1911 for $86,000. Two bronze sculptures by Georg Kolbe (1877‱947) turned out to be worth $89,400 †”Dancer (Nijinsky),” 1913‱9, and “Young Couple,” circa 1919. Fritz Klimsch’s (1870‱960) “Spring,” a bronze female nude from 1925′6, brought $59,175.
Among the works by contemporary artists, Victor Vasarely’s (1908‹7) large-format acrylic painting “Iker” from 1980 was highly regarded. The perfectly preserved canvas in the Op-Art style, which was included in Michèle Vasarely’s catalog of works, brought $196,370. Piero Manzoni’s (1933‱963) “Achrome (Sassi),” a canvas set with white stones, was listed at $143,100. Anselm Kiefer’s (b 1945) watercolor “Forest” from around 1973‷4 drew $80,690.
The special section devoted to Russian art of the Twentieth Century had a considerable share in the success of this spring auction, grossing nearly $2.7 million. The Suprematist painting by Ivan Kliun (1873‱943) displayed on the title page of the catalog was knocked down to a private German collector for $188,250.
Two paintings by Natalia Goncharova (1881‱962) were listed at $357,740 (“La Moisson,” circa 1911) and $286,435 (“La Ceuillette,” circa 1910), while a still life by her companion, Mikhail Larionov (1881‱964), came to $268,900. They went to various buyers in the United States, as did the Cubist still lifes by Nadezhda Udaltsova (1886‱961) and Nikolai Suetin (1897‱954). Natan Altman’s (1889‱970) “Nature Morte” was taken by a Russian for $268,900. The painting by contemporary Vladimir Nemuchin (b 1925) titled “Early Morning” was successfully handed over for $41,150.
All prices have been converted to US dollars from euros and include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.auction.de or 49-11-649-69-0.
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